I’ve had a tough time being part of a group. I almost never see that relationship through. There are way too many rules and restrictions for any informal group too! But this time (when I started a food blog yet again), I promised myself that some allegiance would be given. A book club, that reads books related to all things food! What could be better than that to start with.
So the first book was The Hindi Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan.
It’s a book that fits the bill of immigrant writing, right from the first page. It seems to be a book written for immigrants and off the cuff, I wanted to write it off. I’ve had enough of Jhumpa Lahiri and her ilk, to actually enjoy or even relate to this genre anymore. In fact, a remark in the book about how off-the-boat Indians are far more hip than the Indians born in America, or something to that extent, gives you insight into how India has actually changed but for Indian abroad, it can sometimes stay static.
But as I turned pages, another voice started chiming. A voice that I have recently come to recognize as a voice that tries to distinguish between conditioning and choice and why it is important to make that choice. A book like this started voicing things I had heard as a child, and as a daughter. Somewhere along the way the author manouevres her characters to accept things as they are and not how they should be. That, to me, made the book very refreshing. The Marathi mother-daughter reminded me of my mother and me. A line towards the end of that story says, “She is daughter you have. Stop making her the daughter you want.” Great resonance there.
Coming to the food aspect of the book, it contained many traditional recipes. I tried a few (samosa, lassi and chole) but since I had not expected a crimp in plan before I posted any one of these recipes, this post is without a picture or my experience cooking with from it.
To me, it a great recipe book rather than a novel. Something I can return to again and again for traditional Indian recipes.
Here are some of the reviews of the book: